I've been going to a meeting they hold once a month on Sat mornings when someone usually talks or they watch documentaries. I've been to four now that are held in a church. It's not just vets that attend. It's never like a large crowd but old and young come out of interest and appreciation. I attended a VE Day dinner a couple of weeks ago attended by Russian veterans also. I've met the guy around the street, a strong Christian, and he is Pres of the WW II Historical Society here so he sort of got me into it. This Sat I attended the monthly meeting and we watched a documentary on Iowa Jima. I sat next to a man who was there for 8 days on Iowa Jima and another old fellow behind me was there for the whole thing. The guy beside me was sort of teared up at the end and the fellow behind me named Ray, about 84 or 86 years old, was broken up. Those around him leaned over the pews toward him and spoke good words to him. I turned around and tried to say a little. He talked to a few of us afterward and told many stories of Iowa Jima. I had such pity for him. One guy at the meetings was in the Battle of the Bulge. This Iowa Jima meeting really kind of brought it home to me more than ever what they went through. Tough total carnage. Today on Memorial Day Pete, the Pres of the Society, went to a retirement home and gave a talk and slide show on the Normandy landing and I went along. He's been to Europe many times to the memorial cemeteries and Normandy etc. People showed up today, men and women, out of the retirement home rooms and activities and came in many with walkers helping them. A short 5'6" guy named Frank, walking with the aid of a walker, was there that went ashore at Omaha Beach and another guy there today was in the landing also and scaled up straight cliffs with a 90 pound pack on his back. I think they lost 230 men doing that he said. This guy was in an electric wheelchair. They all stood at the end and this and an elderly lady led them in a stirring rendetion of God Bless America. She was leading and waving her arm like an orchestra director. I'm glad I got a chance to do something like this because I've felt for a long time that we owe them more than we know and very easily can presumptively lose sight of their service. Today is the first day I've actively went out and honored the veterans on Memorial Day. Not so bad. One guy today had on his uniform with parachutists insigna on it and served in the Korean and Vietnam War. The old fellow Ray from Sat was attending the Univ of Oklahoma and I think he said he was part of the college band on Dec 7. Monday morning, Dec 8, he said the whole band went and signed up for service. I've seen haunted looks and teary eyes but they did what they did. It touches them when you tell them you appreciate their service and they know you mean it. There's something different and more pure if you will being around them. I could say more. The Best Generation.
"I'm glad I got a chance to do something like this because I've felt for a long time that we owe them more than we know and very easily can presumptively lose sight of their service."
There's something different and more pure if you will being around them. I could say more. The Best Generation.
Thanks for this! I saw a large bumper sticker in the parking lot of a Whataburger restaurant in Arizona (during our move to California last year) that said the following:"If it weren't for American soldiers, we might be speaking German right now."Beneath it read: "[i]...except for Jews, African Americans and other minorities who didn't fit into Hitler's idea of a 'master' race. They would be dead[/i]." In bold letters, it said, "Remember the veterans of WW2...because freedom didn't come cheap." :-)